We’re feeling particularly festive this year. Sure, the world is still a bit upside down, but we’re getting more creative, finding new ways to celebrate and to spread kindness everywhere we go. In kindness, there is joy… and in joy there is always a little bit of silliness. What better to instill that special sense of silly than our very own Ugly Sweater Party!
You don’t need to run out to the store to buy a sweater for this one… this party has you stitching up your very own! Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy first launched her Foundation Paper Pieced Ugly Sweater pattern back in 2015. It took off and we’ve loved seeing all of the different versions over the years, each one unique and entertaining.
We were delighted when Kerry created a cross stitch version of the Ugly Sweaters because now these little cuties can be perfect partners to our luscious 6-strand Aurifloss. These little frocks are quick to stitch and would make perfect ornaments, cards, or adorable little accessory embellishments. The possibilities are endless!
Even better? Puppy Portraits, Kerry’s debut Aurifil collection, is the perfect companion, offering all the colors you’ll need to stitch up your new fave ugly sweater!
In honor of the holiday season we thought it would be fun to bring some of Kerry’s original Ugly Sweater inspiration directly to you. Check out her interview below!
Where did the idea for the original ugly sweaters come from?
It was mid December 2015 when I was driving to get my girls from school (my best time to think and plan out ideas). I was noticing that ads, radio commercials, and stores were flooded with ugly sweaters and I thought ‘wow – I should make a block and a quilt to look like an Ugly Sweater – that would be so funny’. I was working on other things and Christmas was only 10 days away but knew I had to do it and do it quickly. So, I dropped everything, designed my block in Electric Quilt, and sent it out into the world within 48 hours after having the thought.
Were you surprised by the success?
I woke up the next day and saw I only sold one and was sort of bummed (who doesn’t want a pattern to go viral). But then I saw it was Heidi Kenney that bought it, and thought ‘ok, that’s pretty cool since she’s an amazing designer herself.’ I sold a few more after she posted it, but still not a lot. Then my friend Kim (Persimon Dreams) told me she thought the block was hysterical and asked to host a contest. It was 4 days long and only a week after the block launch. It was truly the fastest turn around contest ever! The holidays came and went and the pattern seemed to fizzle. But amazingly, after the new year, it just exploded. It was a wave that couldn’t be stopped. It’s been a super fun ride to see everyone creating these amazing blocks using my design. I have really loved seeing people create quilts, tree skirts, pillows and so much more. Some sweater friends have made amazing themed sweater quilts with cats, Disney™ character fabrics, and even sports teams. Each sweater is unique and I love seeing every single one.
What inspired you to turn the patterns into cross stitch charts?
After I created the original Ugly Sweater Block as an English Paper Pieced block, I began getting requests for an appliqué version and patchwork too. Since it wasn’t my only pattern and I had so much going on at that time, I couldn’t get them all out at once. Last year when I was finally ready to design and prep the patchwork patterns, I decided to add cross stitched patterns too. I began designing them when the pandemic took hold, which is also when I began stitching my Puppy Portrait patterns. Cross stitching really helped me to not hyper focus on covid issues and helped to reduce my anxiety surrounding it all. As Christmas neared, it was really nice to take a puppy break and stitch the sweaters.
What I love most about these little ugly cross stitch sweaters is they can be put together, or they can be stitched separately as I did. They can be turned into ornaments or gift tags, jewelry, or mini framed images and given as gifts. I offer a limited supply of the tiny hoops that fit the stitched sweater perfectly if you use the same recommended stitch cloth. If you want to make them bigger, that’s great too. They will still be just as cute… um I mean as “ugly” (wink wink)… as ever!
Looking for some extra stitching opportunities? Don’t miss Kerry’s Puppy Portraits Cross Stitch a Long! She devised a 12-month program that includes dog patterns, mini frames, AND a special bonus pattern. Rather than charging for the patterns themselves, Kerry has asked that a minimum donation be made to a charity, organization, or foundation. With that in mind, the signup form requires the following details:
— When and where a donation was made (donations must be dated June 10, 2021 or later)
— Donation amount (minimum of $12)
— Screenshot or other proof of donation
Upon signup, your name will be added to our pattern distribution list and you’ll receive an email with all patterns released to date. New puppy portraits arrive to your inbox on 2nd Thursday of each month. To date, participants have donated more than $2500 to local charities and organizations all over the world!
You can find Kerry’s Puppy Portraits collection on Shop Aurifil or if you’re hoping to grab a kit which includes the necessary Evenweave linen, head to Kerry’s shop by clicking the button below.
HUGE Thanks to Kerry for her collaboration, her fabulous pattern, her generosity, and her dedication to making this world just a little bit better;). We can’t wait to see what you’re stitching!
Kerry Goulder has been sewing for fun since she can remember. She began designing many unique patterns under her Kid Giddy® label, wrote her first book, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love: 18 Toy Patterns for the Storytelling Sewist and continues to sell and license her designs.
Kerry’s company motto is to “add more giddy to your life.” It’s a constant reminder to have fun and do things that make you happy, which, of course, means more sewing.
Kerry lives in Maine with her family, loves metalsmithing, running, and training for her fourth degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.